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Moral Policy in a Time of Crisis: Poverty & Policy Solutions Virtual Conference (Day 1)

Friday, October 23, 2020
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Type:
Kairos Center, PPC, and partners
Location Details:
Online/virtual conference (FREE)

Join us for "Moral Policy in a Time of Crisis", an online conference on poverty issues in America, with a focus on the urgent struggles and policy solutions of the poor and dispossessed.

The conference will address the topic of poverty in America and how it is interlocked with systemic racism, health care in-access, the erosion of labor rights, environmental injustice, militarism and the war economy, and more, and the importance of creating human rights based policy solutions that need to and must happen in our nation.

Friday, October 23 – Saturday, October 24


ASL interpretation
Open-captioned in English
Traducción en español (Spanish translation)

Host: Kairos Center of Religions, Rights and Social Justice,
along with Repairers of the Breach and Poor People's Campaign

Sponsoring Partners:

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
National Union of the Homeless
Union de Vecinos
Put People First! PA
Nonviolent Medicaid Army
Michigan Welfare Rights Organization
Raise Up NC!
National Women's Law Center
Food and Water Watch
Institute for Policy Studies

VIRTUAL CONFERENCE: Moral Policy in a Time of Crisis: Poverty & Policy Solutions

We are living through a kairos moment, a time defined by both extraordinary danger and possibility. All around us the old ways of the world are crumbling and millions more are joining the ranks of the unemployed, uninsured, unhoused, unfed, and unwell. To dig ourselves out of the wreckage of the present, we desperately need a new moral vision, a blueprint for society that values and defends all life. This is what the Poor People’s Jubilee Platform offers.

The Jubilee Platform is not a proposal to tinker around the edges. Rather, it is a plan to reconstruct society around the needs and hopes of the poor, from economic and racial justice to an end to militarism and ecological devastation. “Jubilee” is a reference to the ancient moral commitment to cancel debts, release slaves, pay fair wages, provide for the poor and hungry, and allow the land to recover from overuse and abuse. Jubilee was not merely a set of ideas, but a comprehensive economic program that centered those who were most impacted by the injustice of the day.

The conference will begin with a keynote by Kairos Center Director Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach. We will also hear from organizers, economists, policy experts, theologians, historians, musicians, and other leaders on how we arrived at this moment of crisis and what we can do to chart a new way forward.

This is a free virtual conference, but all participants must register to attend. See below for the agenda.



11am-noon: Keynote

Reaching back into the long history of Jubilee and Reconstruction to understand the possibilities of today, with:

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis (Kairos) and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (Repairers of the Breach), co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

noon-12.30pm: BREAK

12.30-2pm: The Right to Welfare and an Adequate Standard of Living

Looking at the history of poor people’s organizing and the policy frameworks that have both influenced and been shaped by their struggles, with:

Anthony Prince (National Union of the Homeless), Dawn Plummer (Pittsburgh Food Policy Council), Kenia Alcocer (Union de Vecinos), Kristin Colangelo (National Union of the Homeless), Maureen Taylor (Michigan Welfare Rights Organization), Salaam Bhatti (Virginia Poverty Law Center), and Shawn Fremstad (Center for Economic and Policy Research)

2-3 pm: BREAK

3-4.30pm: The Right to Work with Dignity

How our current economy is leaving workers behind and why we must think about work, labor, and jobs in a new way, with:

Ben Wilkins (Fight for 15 and Raise Up NC!), Beth Kontos (AFT Massachusetts), Chris Caruso (Kairos), Darrick Hamilton (The New School), Shana Bartley (National Women’s Law Center), Shailly Gupta Barnes (Kairos) and Sheree Aleen (Fight for 15)


6:30-8am: Facing the Long History of Systemic Racism

Contending with the injustices of systemic racism from the first chapter of U.S. history to the present, with:

Ciara Taylor (University of the Poor), Leonardo Vilchis (Union de Vecinos), Jeanne Theoharis (Brooklyn College), Roz Pelles (Repairers of the Breach), and Wendsler Nosie Sr. (Apache Stronghold)

8-9am: BREAK

9-11.30am: The Right to Health and a Healthy Environment

Building power to change a death-dealing system into one that protects the sources of life, with:

Avery Book (Vermont Workers’ Center), Brigitte Kahl (Union Theological Seminary), Mikaela Curry (Kentucky Poor People’s Campaign), Nijmie Dzurinko (Put People First! PA), Noam Sandweiss-Back (Kairos), Sharrelle Barber (Drexel University), and Sharon Lavigne (Rise St. James)

11.30-12.30pm: BREAK

11.30-1pm: Providing for the Common Defense

Redefining the ideas of national security and common defense, with:

Charon Hribar (Kairos), Lindsay Koshgarian (National Priorities Project), Kyle Bibby (Common Defense), Savina Martin (Freedom Church of the Poor), and representatives from the Kentucky, New York, and Wisconsin state campaigns of the Poor People’s Campaign

1-1.30pm: BREAK

1.30-3.15pm: CLOSING
Added to the calendar on Mon, Oct 19, 2020 6:11PM
by Kairos Center, PPC, and partners
#WeMustDoMORE: Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering, Educating People
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Poor People's Campaign voting #MORE page here:

VOTE: Check your voter registration here:

Last day to register online in CA was October 19th. After Oct. 19th, you must contact or visit the registrar of voters for your county directly in order to register for the 2020 election, with final voting day on November 3

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